Who doesn't love popcorn? This tasty snack has been one of America's favorites since the Depression. In the 1930s, movie theater owners learned that audiences loved to snack on this treat while watching films, and they could make a hefty profit from selling it to them.
Now popcorn is embedded in our national concept of fun.
Here are ten more fun facts about popcorn.
1. Popcorn is America's Favorite Snack Food
We've entered another golden age for popcorn, with its popularity booming the way it did in the 30s and then again in the 80s. This salty snack is associated with good times like movies, carnivals, beach, and baseball games.
It's no surprise that in hard times we turn to a treat that makes us feel good in so many ways!
The Popcorn Board says that Americans consume 14 billion quarts of the stuff every year. Apparently, we eat three-quarters of that at home, and the rest at theatres, schools and other public venues.
2. Popcorn is Healthy
Take away the butter and salt and you will find that popcorn is actually a very healthy snack. It has lots of fiber, antioxidants, vitamin B, manganese, and magnesium.
Eating popcorn helps digestion, lowers cholesterol and can control blood sugar. Its high levels of antioxidants may even help prevent cancer and help slow down the aging process(see #8 below).
Few other "junk foods" have as many health benefits as this delicious snack.
3. Popcorn is Convenient
Popcorn is easy to get and easy to eat any place, any time.
You can purchase delicious popcorn online, too- for yourself or for someone special.
Popcorn makes a terrific gift. Save time shopping and send something you know will be appreciated by everyone. Why not mail popcorn as a graduation present, or as a holiday treat to someone you love who may live far away?
4. Popcorn Can Be Used in Lots of Fun Recipes
Popcorn is incredibly versatile.
You can mix it with pretzels, nuts, and chips for a party mix. You can flavor it with cheese, garlic or chocolate. There is no end to the fun recipes you can try which incorporate popcorn.
You can even sample popcorn soup!
5. Popcorn is Good for All Seasons
Popcorn peaks in popularity in autumn, but it is actually enjoyed all through the year.
Summertime activities like strolling the boardwalk at the beach or cheering on the local minor league baseball team are always enhanced by a bag of popcorn.
You can also enjoy a bowl of the buttery goodness while curled up in front of a roaring fire in the middle of winter. One blogger describes the warmth and security of a handful of popcorn as comforting as a heavy coat.
6. Popcorn Can Reduce Inflammation
Another cool fact about popcorn is that the kernels contain polyphenols, compounds found in plants. These have antioxidant properties which benefit your health, including the ability to reduce inflammation.
Fruits and vegetables also contain polyphenols, but their content is more diluted with water. Because popcorn only contains 4% water, you get more highly concentrated polyphenols. As a matter of fact, a single serving will give you 13% of the recommended daily intake.
Inflammation is thought to be an underlying cause for many chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Consuming polyphenols can reduce inflammation, thus helping to prevent the onset of these deadly diseases.
Popcorn contains polyphenols, so it can be helpful if you suffer from issues pertaining to inflammation like arthritis and Crohn's Disease.
7. Popcorn has Been Enjoyed for Centuries In Cultures Around the World
The Aztecs used corn as food and wore it on their ceremonial headdresses and necklaces. They even used dressed statues of their gods with popcorn jewelry.
Native Americans believed that spirits lived inside each popcorn kernel. When the kernels were cooked, the spirits would get angry and break out of their houses in a burst of steam. Some tribes not only ate popcorn, they made beer out of it.
A 1,000-year-old popped kernel of popcorn was found in a cave in Utah!
8. Popcorn May Prevent Aging
Antioxidants counter the effects of free radicals which have been related to age-related issues like wrinkles, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and hair loss.
Popcorn's powerful antioxidants may contribute to helping you to live a longer, healthier and more attractive life.
9. Popcorn Can be Sweet or Savory
One of the most fun facts about popcorn is its versatility. You can combine this snack with so many different flavorings. Some people prefer their popcorn to be sweet- witness the popularity of caramel flavored Cracker Jack.
Others like it salty, or even spicy!
Some wild popcorn flavors include Blue Cheese, Beer- flavored, Brown Butter and Sea Salt, Black Truffle and Cheddar, Pumpkin Spice, and Cupcake flavored!
Cans of popcorn are a popular gift as well. The gift of popped corn is sure to be enjoyed by almost everyone, from Grandma on her birthday to your college-aged kid studying for exams.
No matter what your taste, there is sure to be a flavor of popcorn that whets your whistle.
10. Americans Eat 17 Billion Quarts of Popcorn a Year
The amount of popcorn eaten by Americans on an annual basis would fill the Empire State Building 18 times. That's a lot of popcorn!
With so many people eating so much popcorn, why not join in on the fun? As the above fun facts demonstrate, popcorn is not just delicious but it is good for you too.
Fun Facts About Popcorn: It's Fun to Eat
No matter what the historical background, calorie count or statistics, the truth is that popcorn is fun to eat. Even without knowing all of the fun facts about popcorn, you can't dispute the sheer joy of munching on a handful of the buttery goodness in the dark of a movie theatre or in front of the TV at the end of a long day.
Pop some up, and enjoy!
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